Data Centers Will Invest in Renewables Despite the EPA, Not Because of It

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This week’s column for Data Center Knowledge looks at the EPA’s recent decision to repeal the troubled Climate Power Plan. A number of large hyper-scale operators have come out in support of the plan which they claim would help them, and wider industry, with future renewable investments.

It has been pointed out that these hyper-scales invest in renewables because of tax incentives to do so rather than out of a sense of altruism. That is accurate up to a point. The hyperscale operators admit themselves that ““Renewable energy is less subject to price volatility than non-renewable energy; provides greater long-term cost certainty to its purchasers; and, in many parts of the United States, is available at prices comparable to or better than the current prices for other electricity options”. But as Greenpeace – which has been highly critical of some datacenter operators use of renewables –  and others have pointed out some large operators have helped to make renewable energy tariffs more widely available and increase use of renewables by other industries.

There is a lot of complexity around the sourcing and distribution of renewables but the decision by the EPA to roll-back the Climate Power Plan still looks like a retrograde step.

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